There has been an increase demand for mobile/e-commerce shipments. Companies want to ensure products being parceled are protected throughout the supply chain to keep customers happy and prevent returns. However; certain businesses typically use a one size fits all product – packaging system for all shipments. As a result, it creates massive waste in a majority of instances. Pack Protocols is requesting companies to address the packaging overkill and resolve the waste issue.

Packaging Waste Example

The objective of this post is to emphasize the prevalent waste issue across industry as well as the call for reform. Furthermore; this is not to single out a specific company. For example; two recent shipments of small items by a well known distribution firm reinforced Pack Protocols beliefs.

Security or Wafer Seal Packaging Waste

The first shipment was security seals. Most shipments of these items use a lay flat package. Instead, Pack Protocols received a parcel like this:

Packaging Waste Image of how product was received by end user

OK. It arrived in a 200 PSI Mullen, C-Flute Corrugated Kraft Container. Was the company concerned with transportation? Possibly. This is understandable.

Packaging Waste Indicators

After opening, the packaging for this item became a bit more dumbfounding. Kraft paper dunnage/void fill placed in the corrugated container.

Opening of packaging with product, packaging waste

Subsequently there were numerous large poly bags. Three types of products placed into three separate bags. All of these products dimensions were approximately one inch square in size, with a minimal depth.

Poly bag packaging waste

The characteristics of the product do not justify the size of packaging used. When removing the seals from the package, multiple promotional items were found compromised of paper with various printing finishes/coatings. These were located at the bottom of the package.

Root Cause of Packaging Waste

It appears the main driver of the packaging is the company promotional items. Every shipment from this company has included these additional items. A subsequent shipment by this company for a couple of paper and plastic pouches used the same packaging with the exception of air-bag dunnage in-lieu of Kraft paper. Ironically, the three security seals from the previous shipment could easily fit in any of the paper or plastic pouches.

In addition, there was no mention of how or if the packaging material was recyclable. Depending on the end user’s municipality, the packaging could end up in a landfill, body of water, or incinerated. It is imperative to utilize recycling indicators clearly stated on packaging components. Pack Protocols worked on a similar project.

Packaging Waste Next Steps

The company should address their packaging standards to accommodate all parties including the end user and environment. A good starting point to assist their customers of how to recycle the packaging would be The amount and type of packaging to protect these items is excessive and uncalled for. Secondly, the company needs to update their shipping practices to prevent the copious amounts of packaging materials and possible waste. Moreover, the company could recover potential lost revenue from shipping by using packaging that conforms to the item a bit better.

Business needs to be aware of the bigger picture when they ship product and not cause unwanted waste. Hiring Pack Protocols or another packaging professional is a viable option to mitigate unnecessary rubbish.